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24 SMT Magazine • September 2015 Further, while it is common for the tier-one EMS providers to have plastic injection capabi- lity, there are also mid-tier EMS players that can offer plastic injection. We can say that the automotive EMS players have expanded their role through vertical inte- gration and venture into the realm of non-elec- tronics manufacturing. manufacturing The trend toward outsourcing in the auto- motive industry continues as automotive man- ufacturers strive to capitalize on the technical expertise and cost effectiveness of the EMS pro- viders. Contract assembly is a core competence of these EMS companies. Challenges in Manufacturing: Main- taining high quality and reliability of the prod- ucts that are being manufactured specially for products related to safety are among the major challenges in automotive electronics manufac- turing. The EMS providers' customers expect zero defects. The goal is to eliminate risks be- cause risks could lead to a life and death situ- ation for car drivers or passengers. The entire supply chain should cover that objective from design to manufacturing. The automotive industry's product develop- ment framework such as the advance product quality planning (APQP) is strictly being prac- ticed by tier 1 automotive suppliers and their sub-suppliers to ensure that proper planning and manufacturing process design will be in place before the production line begins mass produc- tion. The APQP produces the plan needed for the development of a product that will satisfy the customer. The plan also helps the people behind the manufacturing services adopt the right automotive mindset—they should be able to anticipate potential problems, immediately act on the situation, and always on the lookout for continuous improvements to make the job more efficient. Another challenge is the pressure of yearly price reduction from the tier 1 suppliers. Vari- ous lean manufacturing techniques like the val- AutOmOtIve ems: GOING beyOND AssembLy continues FeAture

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